F A I T H F U L
Happy and Holy!
Mirriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary defines “holiness” as:
Definition of holy
1: exalted or worthy of complete devotion as one perfect in goodness and righteousness
2: divine for the Lord our God is holy — Psalms 99:9 (AV)
3: devoted entirely to the deity or the work of the deity a holy temple holy prophets
4a: having a divine quality holy love b: venerated as or as if sacred Holy Scripture a holy relic
5—used as an intensive this is a holy mess he was a holy terror when he drank — Thomas Wolfe; often used in combination as a mild oath holy smoke
For me, the simple definition of holiness is to be like Christ. And if you want to know just how to do that, there are 66 books in the New and Old Testament that can teach you just how to do that.
Gary Thomas in his blog often talks about holiness bringing us happiness, and that is what I want to focus on here today. As much as we can talk about being trustworthy, reliable, accepting, interesting, our main goal in life should be to be holy, i.e. to have our hearts and minds changed to such an extent that we truly start reflecting Christ and God’s love in our lives. And then, that will lead us to happiness. I’m not talking about the fleeting happiness of getting a new iPhone. I’m talking about that deep satisfaction of a life well lived. People often seem to think that doing things “easy” is the path to enjoying life, but contrary to what the world tells us, the path to enjoying life is to live a holy life, a life pleasing unto God. Sometimes that will be easy. But, at other times, it will be hard. Very hard. Our satisfaction in life comes from knowing that we have honoured God and lived a life well pleasing to Him, no matter how hard or tough it may be… In marriage, that can be especially difficult. It is easy when the going gets tough to want to give up, run away, move onto greener pastures – but that is not God’s calling for marriage. I am talking about ordinary run-of-the-mill marriages here, because in marriages of abuse or addictions, being holy may very well mean walking away from the marriage. However, that is a decision between you, God and the church after receiving counselling. It is not a decision to be taking lightly or selfishly. Holiness may mean taking a stand within your marriage and saying that if your spouse doesn’t get help for their abuse, addictions, or whatever it may be, your call to holiness won’t tolerate that. At other times, your call to holiness may very well be to stay – I have read of numerous marriages that have been restored and redeemed after an affair, because of choices made to rather stay together. It is an individual choice and only God can guide you.
However, for the normal, but really hard marriages, holiness means being faithful, accepting, interested and interesting, trusting and trustworthy, happy and holy, fearless, understanding, loving and loyal. In other words, to be like Christ. These are just some of the attributes I wish to reflect in my marriage to see Christ in my marriage – to be holy as He is holy. It is hard. Sometimes marriage can be very hard. But, I honestly do believe with all my heart that the end result will be well worth it. And when the going gets especially tough, I try to remember to remind myself that at the end of the day, my marriage – and the two people therein – are far more important to God than it could ever be to me.